The Foreign Affairs Committee publishes a wide-ranging report on the work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and two of its sponsored bodies, the BBC World Service and the British Council. It makes key recommendations on language skills for top diplomats, BBC World service funding and priorities, and funding for the British Council. For the FCO, the exclusion of foreign language skills and reliance purely on general management competencies creates the risk of credibility in respect of key diplomatic postings. The Committee finds it unacceptable that the World Service will not know its budget, priorities or objectives before the transition to licence fee funding and the new arrangements for oversight by the BBC Trust from April 2014. The British Council will struggle to deliver the UK's foreign policy objectives if cuts to grant funding from the FCO continue at a similar rate. The Committee recommends that the FCO should shield the British Council from the effect of any further cuts to the FCO budget in 2015-16.We note Mr Horrocksa#39;s optimism about future levels of funding for the BBC World Service. ... its task, namely the BBCa#39;s global purpose of abringing the United Kingdom to the world and the world to the United Kingdoma, ... We question whether commitments to sustain the funding of the World Service at current levels beyond April 2014, or even to increase it, are quite so clear-cut as Mr Horrocks suggested.
|Title||:||FCO Performance and Finances 2011-12|
|Author||:||Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Foreign Affairs Committee|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2013-04-19|